Great session today on a lake in Co.Monaghan – Weather was forecast for heavy rain and although it did hit us for a short time we mostly had dry and sunny time! Landed the 2 pike below, both on float rig fairly shallow in between lilies and with roach dead-bait.
First fish is probably about 5-6lbs while second is 9lbs13oz – bit of a fright with the bigger fish as I wasn’t paying attention to the float for a minute when I heard the bait runner screaming and line flying of the reel – ran to the rod when it jumped out of the pod and went towards the water – I grabbed it on time but having the bait runner set so light the mono jumped out of the reel into a nasty bird’s nest! Managed to reel this on the bobbin anyway and netted the fish with help of Mike.
Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomes the publication of an important scientific paper relating to one of Ireland’s key angling species – pike. The angling industry is estimated to be worth €750m annually to the Irish economy.
Pike (Esox lucius) is a species that was thought to have been introduced by man in the last few hundred years. Results from this informative research have shown that the colonisation history is more complex, with an indication that they may have colonised naturally some thousands of years ago.
Computer modelling of genetic data has indicated that pike probably colonised Ireland in two waves; the 1st occurred approximately 8,000 years ago, close to the end of the Ice Age, and the second occurred approximately 1,000 years ago, with the Normans. This is most interesting as it is the first time we have evidence for natural colonisation of a freshwater fish to the island of Ireland.
Minister O’Dowd stated: “I welcome the findings from this important investigation and commend the excellent collaboration between UCD and Inland Fisheries Ireland, who have recently signed a MOU to support this type of ground-breaking research”.
Dr. Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development for IFI, stated that “These important results will influence IFI’s ongoing management strategy for this species. Further investigations, using new and developing genomic techniques, will be used to endorse these findings”.
Debbi Pedreschi, lead author, commented that “what was really intriguing was how the examination of genetic material allowed us to build a hypothesis, which was then found to fit extremely well into the historical and archaeological background”.
Dr. Mary Kelly-Quinn was co-supervisor of the project and said that “Debbi’s results will challenge us to consider the future management of this species and marks a significant contribution of a young researcher in this area”.
Professor Stefano Mariani, now at the University of Salford, believes that this investigation embodies the nature of conservation biology: “we should always question long-held assumptions, and examine the best available evidence. At this point, it would be irresponsible to ignore these strong patterns of pike diversity, but we are also keen to investigate this further and provide a more exhaustive picture”.
This study was conducted in partnership with the School of Biology & Environment Science UCD, and with support from the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Club, and the University of Salford, under the co-supervision of Prof. Stefano Mariani.
Download the Layman’s report: